Marble excels in countertops, walls, fireplaces, floors, and luxurious bath, shower, and hot tub enclosures.Frequently Asked Questions

With over 40 years of family experience in mining, cutting, finishing, installing, and repairing natural stone, we provide knowledgeable answers to common questions about Granite, Marble, Onyx, Travertine, and Quartzite.

What is the difference between Marble and Granite?

Marble and Granite, while both stones, have little in common besides their ancient origins.

Marble forms through the recrystallization of limestone under the immense heat and pressure of the earth’s crust. This process, influenced by impurities, imparts the variety of colors seen in Marble, with the purest form being white. The Ancient Greeks and Michelangelo favored Marble for its pristine quality in their statues and buildings.

Granite originates from magma intruding into other rocks within the earth’s crust and crystallizing deep within mountains. Comprising mainly quartz, feldspar, and mica, Granite’s color, often pink or gray, reflects the feldspar’s composition. Its common use in building materials stems from its hardness.


As a harder igneous rock, Granite may require more robust abrasives for refinishing.

Perform a scratch test to identify Granite: try scratching the surface with a knife blade in an inconspicuous place. Difficulty in scratching suggests you’re dealing with Granite or a similar hard stone. Conversely, if scratching occurs, the stone is more likely Marble or limestone.

Granite generally doesn’t react with acids, with hydrofluoric acid being the exception.


Marble, a metamorphic rock rich in calcium carbonate, reacts to certain acids. To maintain Marble surfaces, avoid leaving acidic liquids on them to prevent etching.

Despite popular belief, Marble does not stain easily from acidic foods like lemon or vinegar, and red wine stains are not a common issue. Note that some granites and Quartz may also etch.

Knowing the stone type is crucial for selecting the appropriate cleaner.

Is Marble harder to care for than Granite and Quartz in kitchen countertops?

Marble receives the same sealing treatment as Granite post-fabrication.

Using a cutting board can extend the shine of your marble countertops, and re-polishing them is neither difficult nor expensive.

Marble does not discolor to yellow over time like Quartz Engineered Stone and is fire-resistant.

What are the best uses for Marble?

Marble excels in countertops, walls, fireplaces, floors, and luxurious bath, shower, and hot tub enclosures.

What’s the best way to clean Marble countertops?

For weekly cleaning, wipe with a damp soft cloth and then buff dry with a chamois. For stains, non-abrasive cleaners such as acetone, hydrogen peroxide, or clear ammonia are suitable. Apply with a clean cloth and buff dry. Regular polishing can be done with a Marble polish that contains tin oxide. To learn more about caring for and cleaning your Marble, click on this link for detailed instructions and tips.

Are there ways to protect my Marble?

To protect Marble, use coasters under glasses, place plastic under cosmetics, and lay rugs in high-traffic Marble floored areas. Refer to a professional for scratch repair and consider applying quality sealers.

Which stone should I use for kitchen countertops?

This is our recommendations:

  • For homeowners that wish to have the nicest look: Marble and Natural Stone Quartzites
  • For a low cost solution to your home countertops: Granite
  • For rentals, Airbnb’s multi units: Granite and Quartz Engineered stone

How many choices of Granite colors and patterns are there?

You can choose from more than 1,000 Granite colors and patterns, including popular options like Baltic Brown, Ubatuba Green, and Santa Cecilia

Can Granite be damaged?

While tough, Granite can chip from sharp impacts. It is generally impervious to heat from pots and pans but requires sealing to prevent stain absorption. Small pits on the surface are natural and contribute to its unique appeal.

Will my knives scratch Granite?

Knives are unlikely to scratch Granite, but the hard stone can dull knife blades. It’s wise to use cutting boards.

Will the Granite I choose online or in the store be identical in color and pattern to what’s installed in my home?

While some color variations are more consistent, Granite is a natural material, and variations are common. It’s best to personally select the slabs for your project to ensure satisfaction.

Granite is heavy. Can it be cantilevered?

With proper support, cantilevering Granite is feasible. However, avoid stressing unsupported Granite to prevent damage.

What if my Granite needs to be seamed? Won’t that spoil the look?

Proper installation ensures that seams, created by bonding two pieces of Granite with colored epoxy, remain barely visible.

What if my Granite does get chipped?

Generally, it can be repaired using a mixture of epoxy and ground up Granite of similar color. If you can find and saved the chipped pieces, they can be used in the repair.

What’s the best way to clean a Granite countertop?

Use a mild, phosphate-free biodegradable soap with no aromatics, a thorough, clean-water rinse and a dry polish with cotton or chamois. Don’t use detergent. It will build a soap scum that will dull the Granite’s finish.

What is travertine?

Like Marble, travertine is from the limestone family and often forms near warm or hot springs where bubbles in the water cause voids in the stone. When such springs go cold, Onyx is formed, which is why it is not uncommon to find bands of Onyx in travertine beds. Since travertine is highly susceptible to scorching, scratching, staining, acidity and even standing water, it is best used for flooring, tub and bath enclosures and outdoor accents. Travertine is available in hundreds of colors.

What is saturnia?

It’s the same thing as travertine, cut differently. Saturnia is cut across the grain of the stone rather than along the grain, as travertine is usually processed.

Could I use Onyx for anything?

Onyx makes a bold statement in vanity sinks. Onyx, a semi-precious form of chalcedony, has alternating bands of color, most commonly shades of brown, red, white and black.

Will Excell seal my stone?

Yes, once installation is complete, Excell technicians will seal the surfaces.

How long will the sealer last, and how should I renew it?

The sealer lasts about 18 months. Excell will reseal it for you when needed, or you can do it yourself with a Granite sealer available at most hardware and home-improvement stores.

Does Excell install sinks and faucets?

Yes. We have a selection available, or you can buy them elsewhere. Make sure they are the right size and style and that you have enough inside cabinet space for your choices. You will need to know if your countertop requires a drop-in sink or an under-counter mount style. We will include the installation in our project price.

Will you do the plumbing?

Though we do install sinks, our license does not include plumbing. We recommend you hire a licensed plumber to do that work 24 hours after sink installation to be sure the silicone seals are properly dried.

When my old countertops are removed, how long will I be without counters, sinks and water?

Generally, we can remove the old countertops and install the new ones in a single day. If the plumbing is done the following day, you will be without water for only 24 to 36 hours. If the job cannot be done in a day, then old counters would be removed one day and the new ones installed